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Mother charged with killing Mamaroneck boy, 4

Manuela Morgado, 46, right, is accused of killing

Manuela Morgado, 46, right, is accused of killing her 4-year-old son in what police believe was a murder-attempted suicide at Morgado's Mamaroneck apartment. (Oct. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Elizabeth Daza/Village of Mamaroneck Police Department

The mother of a 4-year-old Mamaroneck boy was charged with murdering her son Monday evening, Mamaroneck Village police said.

Manuela Maria Morgado, 46, was arraigned in Village of Mamaroneck Court late Monday on a charge of second-degree murder. Police said they had been investigating whether the boy -- identified by officials as "Jason," according to News12 -- was the victim of a murder-attempted suicide.

Morgado is being held without bail and is due back in court Thursday.

When police arrived at the boy's home at 1035 E. Boston Post Road on Monday morning, they found him already dead in a bedroom in the condominium and the mother in a "semiconscious" state, Mamaroneck Village police Lt. Sandra DiRuzza said in an email statement.

"The cause of death is unknown at this time and is currently being treated as a suspicious death," DiRuzza said.

Family members had called police at about 10:20 a.m. because they were concerned about the mother, according to DiRuzza.

Before Morgado's arrest, law enforcement sources told Newsday that Morgado had attempted suicide and was being treated at South Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, where she was in police custody. The mother had left "indications" at the scene that she wanted to kill herself, according to the sources.

DiRuzza would say only that the mother was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The boy's stunned father arrived at the condominium complex a little before 3 p.m. He declined to comment as he tried to get into the building to see his son.

The mother was in the middle of a custody battle with the boy's father, sources said.

A next-door neighbor was surprised by what happened.

"She was always a great mother and she was always with her kid," neighbor Catherine Lemon said.

Two of the child's teachers from JW Tumbles, a nearby gym play center, hugged and cried outside the building Monday afternoon after hearing the news of the child's death.

One teacher, Michelle Henderson, comforted the other, who said, "He was a great kid."

The child's body was brought out of the condominium complex and placed in the van about 3:20 p.m., to be taken to the county medical examiner's office in Valhalla, where an autopsy will be performed.

No other children were reported at the home at the time of the incident.

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